As many as 300,000 households are facing homelessness this winter. From thousands sleeping on cold streets, to women fleeing domestic abuse, and vulnerable families struggling to pay the rent. It’s why North East construction and housing giants Tolent, Meldrum Construction Services, Karbon Homes and Gentoo Group have joined Oasis Community Housing in launching the charity’s 2021 Christmas appeal, ‘Giving a Home’.
“The pandemic saw an increase in domestic abuse, job losses and struggles with mental health – all causes or contributing factors to homelessness,” explains Oasis Community Housing’s CEO David Smith. “During the pandemic, the ‘Everyone In’ initiative made great strides in putting a roof over people’s heads, but, for almost a third of the 37,000 people it helped, long-term housing was not forthcoming. Meaning thousands don’t know if they will have a roof overhead tomorrow or, devastatingly, they are already back out in the cold.”
With experts warning of a looming homelessness crisis, Oasis Community Housing has this year opened new emergency accommodation to provide rough sleepers with warm, supported accommodation as they take their first steps out of homelessness. The charity, which works across the North East, has also expanded its Empower domestic abuse team and upskilled all of its frontline staff to help survivors of domestic abuse find safety and security as they begin to rebuild their lives – one of the main causes of homelessness for women.
One of the North East's biggest construction companies, Tolent, has led the way in supporting the charity's 'Giving a Home' appeal. Having started out in Gateshead in 1983, the contractor now has offices across the North East and Yorkshire, working across a variety of sectors as well as it's growing housing division, Tolent Living.
Chris Price, managing director of Tolent Living, said: "We're delighted to be supporting Oasis Housing's 'Giving a Home' campaign for the second year running. We design and build houses across the North East and know first-hand the difference a good, quality home can make to those who need it most. It's so important to support causes like this across the areas we work, and we know this campaign will make a real difference to those who rely on the services charities like Oasis Community Housing offer."
Tolent’s support for the ‘Giving a Home’ appeal has enabled the charity to secure a place on the Big Give’s 2021 Christmas Challenge (30 November to 7 December), which means all donations made during the week will be doubled.
CEO David Smith continues, “We’re working harder than ever to give people a home right now – not just a temporary roof overhead, but somewhere warm, where they are safe and feel they belong for the long-term. Anything people can afford to give this Christmas, especially during Big Give Week where their £5 instantly becomes £10, will enable us to continue being a life-line for the thousands of adults, young people and children we support every year.”
Oasis Community Housing’s Giving a Home appeal runs until 31 December 2021, to donate and help someone facing homelessness this winter please visit www.givingahome.org.uk